Ekurhuleni name changing starts as council adopts report
The City of Ekurhuleni has kick-started the process of naming and renaming many landmark features in the City with names that bring honour and pride to the residents. The Ekurhuleni Council has adopted renaming of geographical features during its sitting on February 21,2019.
Among features to be renamed are the Germiston Theatre, which will be named after the late artist and actor Dumi Masilela. He was affectionately known as S’fiso Ngema in the South Africa’s musical drama series, Rhythm City. This series is currently aired on Etv and its storyline focuses on young people trying to make it in the cutthroat music industry. The series attract viewership of over three million. Sadly, Masilela lost his life in a tragic hi-jacking attempt in August 2017 in Tembisa.
He was an inspiration for young people and a beacon hope for those who due to historical background grow with odds stuck against them. He achieved success as a professional soccer star, a musician and an actor in one lifetime.
The Voortrekker Street that off-ramp from R21 freeway in Kempton Park is proposed to be named after Ekurhuleni-born freedom struggle veteran who had nominated the name Ekurhuleni when the City itself was going through a naming process – Amon Ngulele.
Mr Ngulele was a unionist and SACP leader who became a chief whip of Council at the then Kempton Park Municipality (Khyalami Metro) after the first local democratic elections in 1995. He passed away in 2003.
Among other proposed names that were adopted by Council, include:
- Barbara Road (R24) – Lazarus Mawela: 1976 students uprising activist who is a founding member of the Black People Convention, which was a predecessor to United Democratic Front (UDF). He was also a former Councillor at the then Lethabong Municipality following the first local democratic elections in 1995.
- New Library in Tsakane – Mpho Rahab Molepo Library: Among leading women who participated in the 1956, pass law resistance march, and a renowned community leader in the 1980s.
- Tokoza (R59) – Dumisa Ntuli: He was involved in establishing the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) in Katlehong, Vosloorus and surrounding towns in 1983. He led COSAS until it was banned in 1985. He was an active member of UDF in his community and spent three years in detention at Modderbee Prison for his political activities. He served as the Spokesperson of both of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and ANC in Gauteng.
- Holfontein/Etwatwa(N12) – Richard Mhlongo: He led East Rand Student Congress, ERASO and DASCO. He was part of the MKMVA underground machinery and similarly involved in the establishment of Daveyton Civic Organisation.
- Tom Jones Road (N12) – Amina Cachalia: She began campaigning against Apartheid and racial discrimination as a teenager. She became a women’s rights activist, often focusing on economic issues, such as financial independence for women. She spent fifteen years under house arrest throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She was the Treasurer of the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw), a leading supporter of the Federation of Transvaal Women, and a member of both the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress and Transvaal Indian Congress during the Apartheid era.
- Edenvale (N12) – Lungile Mtshali: She started her political activities in the union where she became a shop-steward for SACCAWU in the late 1980s while working at OK-Bazaar in Germiston until 1996. She was part of the national negotiating team for living wages and working conditions. Her activism continued beyond unions as a member of both the ANC and ANCWL. She served as a member of the Ekurhuleni ANC regional committee from 1995, then later elected as a Councillor, which led to her becoming Deputy Chairperson of Gauteng SALGA.
- Gilloolys Interchange (N12) – George Bizos: During the Apartheid years, Bizos dedicated his working life to fight for the basic Human Rights. After the collapse of apartheid, he turned his fight into ensuring that all South Africans equally enjoy those rights enshrined and guaranteed by the constitution. In his legal career, he represented many political activists in high profile political trials, including Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial.
In total, there are about 42 proposed names. These names will go through a consultation process through an advertisement in the local media for comments and objections, while public hearings and constituency meetings organized and facilitated by Councilors will also be held.
Comments and inputs will be consolidated for further submission to the Council for approval